Archive | January, 2010

22 kids… one big exam!

28 Jan

2010 has started of great for Upendo Rescue Centre in Nairobi.

Not only that in Germany an organization was opened to enable more funding, also two more interns from China have come in to support the centre for 3 months in education and fundraising.

Another great achievement was the finishing of the last classroom and 22 students proceeding to Standard 8, the last class in Primary school. The first job of Lin, the chinese intern is now to find 22 Kenyan families to support one child each for the registration for KCPE (800 KSh each, around 7 euros) and to mentor the child through the last, tough year prior to the nation-wide exam to be held in November.

This is the current picture of the 188 kids from Nursery to Class 8.

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New years trip to Mombasa

4 Jan

I arrived in Mombasa on the 26th after am extremely quick and cheap ride (6h12 for 700ksh with Randa Coach). The family of an AIESEC friend had offered us their flat for the week. After removing basic dirt and cockroaches we started a very random plot and went to Diani Beach.

No matter how often I have seen white sand and the blue water, this beach is still paradise. We swam for hours, ate coconuts and talked a lot. In the evening the Kenyans, the Ghanean and Japanese decided to go back but Romeo from Guatemala and I could not imagine exchanging that hot flat for this place. We stayed two more days until we returned to Mombasa on Monday, totally sandy, in need for fresh clothes and a shower but with new stories, totally relaxed and happy.

We joined the rest of the group for an evening around the house, in Tudor. Fried fish, barbecued chicken and fresh fruits are sold on the street so we tried a bit of everything.
We got to know different parts of the city, meeting other friends from Nairobi. Finally I also saw north coast, tourism seems more developed. We spent a whole afternoon at the foot of the Fort Jesus. I admired the beautiful scenary but could not understand what drew the kids into that dirty water.

Over the next days more and more ppl left until I was left with Lulu my office pal from Nigeria. We spent new years eve with Frank at his place (again mombasa has a totally different face on this side). He took up to church at midnight, over 1000 came to the jesus celebration centre. This was a new concept to me, but the (in lots of african countries pretty spread) idea is to put Jesus first in your life. If this rule is transferred on how the night continued, traffic jam is my number two and beer comes third.

The Nigerian wave has fully arrived in Kenya and so half of the songs that were played were from swaggaland. Lulu and I enjoyed to the fullest, arriving home laughing and joking. After a decent sleep-well-guinness and happy new year chapatis we slept. Note: in a country on the equator its not hard to party until dawn.

The highlight was that I crossed the bay under fort jesus twice. Very much to the surprise of the kids, who could hardly understand how a proper mzungu can swim in that dirt. And if you dont believe it, ask Lulu, who watched, or Sahim, whom I met halfway.

My mombasa 2009/10: divers (local ppl, touristy places, muslim old town, christian newyear, sporty, relaxing), tasty (arabic coffee, pilau with goat…) and cheap (especially after the ATM swallowed my card).

Just very awesome holidays, will miss it!

Like a friend said: You can either take the water to Nairobi or relocate to Mombasa.

Mmm… Let me think!